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Tuesday October 25 2016
Don't ignore Giovinco

He may have left Italy nearly two years ago, but Marco D'Onofrio argues Sebastian Giovinco still has so much to give.

Unless you live in Toronto or follow Major League Soccer, it's easy to forget Sebastian Giovinco is even still playing professional football. Despite only being 29 years old, the Atomic Ant has become rather irrelevant to many who watch the Italian top flight. After all, he did leave Turin almost two years ago and didn't have the greatest of exits after struggling to solidify a spot in Massimiliano Allegri's side.

However, much like his partner in the 2009 Under-21 European Championship - Mario Balotelli - has recently discovered, Giovinco is learning that perhaps the grass is greener away from the peninsula.

Without question, the diminutive striker was heartbroken after failing to land a spot in Antonio Conte's squad that travelled to France for Euro 2016. It seemed like if any Coach was ever going to break from the mould and call-up an MLS player, it was going to be the current Chelsea boss. Unfortunately for Giovinco though, he was left supporting his country from across the Atlantic watching at his home in Toronto's trendy Yorkville neighbourhood.

On Wednesday evening, Giovinco will lead Toronto FC to new heights. For the first time in franchise history, the Reds will host a play-off match at the recently renovated BMO Field. It was just last year that the Italian had led the club to the playoffs for the first time ever, but they were embarrassed 3-0 on the road by their biggest rival - Didier Drogba's Montreal Impact.

Despite the fact that many already believe the best is behind Giovinco, the Italian has turned around a franchise in a way that he could have only dreamed of in Italy.

Shattering club and league records in his first season while helping TFC achieve their goals has to be seen as an international success story - even if it does take place in North America.

The Greater Toronto Area has a population of well over six million and even though soccer is a long way from being the top sport in the city, it is still a massive market for Giovinco to prove a point in. From youngsters to the elderly, the striker has captured the hearts of soccer fans across Toronto like no other international player has done before him.

Win or lose on Wednesday evening, it'll be the biggest game in franchise history and fans largely have Giovinco to thank. He didn't quit on the team when he was excluded from Euro 2016, like Jermain Defoe did when he was left off of England's 2014 World Cup roster, and photos splattered on various social media outlets prove he has never shied away from making a fans' day.

While there will always be those who are eager to criticise Giovinco for opting to make the move across the pond - and for those people he has already been forgotten - but for an entire city, Giovinco is more relevant now than ever before.

Have your say...
Yeah Giovinco should have played in the Euros. He's even better than Eder. And miles better than the trendy Insigne.
I really thought Conte would pick him.
At least now he's getting the stardom he desreves.

@Theo, you care.. you clearly care about what's American and what's not. Your whole irrelevant comment was about Americans and America.

P.S. Toronto is in Canada and lattes are Italian.
on the 31st October, 2016 at 6:45am
a talented and gifted footballer which got ignored and wasted by the mighty coaches and clubs of SERIE A, period. yep VENTURA must call him up, as he has the clinical touch to re-shape the game if it is not going as planned. Foolish of SERIE A clubs not making practical offers to convince him to stay and what is the matter playing for MLS! Let us not forget that there is another talent BERARDI who is not being noticed for AZZURRI. Oh well, that is Italian football motto "destroy young talents"
on the 27th October, 2016 at 10:25pm
Rotcod: Who cares?
on the 27th October, 2016 at 6:00pm
Giovinco is good, but too selfish on the ball
on the 27th October, 2016 at 4:24pm
Giovinco is head and shoulders better than anyone in MLS. Watching him play, you quickly realize he is able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to against inferior opposition. Though I love that he plays for TFC, this dominance in an inferior league has bred complacency in his game to the point where I feel he is no longer able to play at the top level and succeed. As such, I just don't see a fit for him in the Nazionale. That being said, hoping he leads TFC past Pirlo's NYCFC next round.
on the 27th October, 2016 at 5:07am
At least Giovinco plays. Conte picked Eder and Zaza that sat on the bench all year. Period.
on the 27th October, 2016 at 12:42am
Giovinco should be in this azzurri side i know it isn't exactly setup for his attributes but with a bit of experimentation it could work it doesn't apply to giovinco but the likes of insigne and ses as well at best they are bench players. As for argument he plays in the mls pelle was called up and he played in china criscito in russia.
on the 26th October, 2016 at 5:12pm
ADL and Napoli should pick up Giovinco in the January transfer window. Would be a steal and would pay instant dividends for both the club and player. ADL make it happen.
on the 26th October, 2016 at 4:42pm
@theo you know that Toronto is in Canada, right?
on the 26th October, 2016 at 4:24pm
Only Americans will claim he deserves to be on the national side. As badly as Insigne has been playing there are at least 2 small fast creative Italians in line before him.

Let him enjoy his lattes in America.
on the 26th October, 2016 at 3:59pm
In my opinion, Giovinco should not have gone to MLS. If anything, he should have gone to an European side or even better to a lesser Italian side. This may have caused the over look for such an excellent talent. However, he can be extremely good when he wants to but I have also seen the side of him when his head goes down and he then does become unwatchable! Overall, I do like him and provided he keeps doing well, then he should be picked.
on the 26th October, 2016 at 12:35pm
So Evra is like fine wine? he shouldn't say that - maybe Suarez might try to taste him:)
on the 26th October, 2016 at 12:14pm
He plays in the MLS, Period.
on the 26th October, 2016 at 7:43am
Giovinco deserved to be on CONTE's EURO's squad considering he saved them in qualification the last two games. It was arrogant and idiotic to not have such a talented and creative player on the NATIONAL TEAM. I hope Ventura realizes who is missing on his team, his name is GIOVINCO!
on the 26th October, 2016 at 2:38am
Giovinco has imagination which is lacking with the Azzurri. He has great free kick skills and corner kick skills which is lacking in the azzurri. Giovinco should be recalled period
on the 26th October, 2016 at 1:43am

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